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Aug 6, 2018

Benque Man Stabbed to Death in San Pedro; Suspect Charged

Carlos Valdes

Hours before the devastating fire in San Pedro, a man was stabbed to death inside his house on Caribeña Street on the island.  The chopping victim is Carlos Valdes. He was found lifeless by off-duty police officer, Nestor Campus, around seven-thirty on Friday night.  Campus lives in an adjacent room from where he detected Gilbert Chanek fleeing with a knife in hand.  The cop and the uncle of the accused subdued him and Chanek is now facing murder charges. Valdes was well-acquainted with Chanek, who recently moved into the same house. Family members say he suffers from mental illness, but police say that when Chanek was detained, he was in sound mind. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

A San Pedro resident, originally from Benque Viejo Del Carmen, was stabbed multiple times to the chest and abdomen inside his room on the second floor of the place he’s called home for over three decades. Fifty-year-old Carlos Valdez was knifed to death by a younger man, who he referred to as his cousin, at the residence on Caribeña Street in the heart of the island. It occurred around seven-thirty on Friday night and within minutes the suspect was detained with the murder weapon in hand as a result of quick response from an off-duty police officer who resides at the house.


Reymundo Reyes

Supt. Reymundo Reyes, O.C., San Pedro Police

“When I arrived at the scene, there was an individual who was already detained by a police officer who was off-duty and inspection of the room led to the discovery of a male persons wearing a short pants without shirt lying in a face up position on top of a bed with multiple stab wounds to the stomach and the chest area.”


Duane Moody

“What do you guys understand happened?”


Supt. Reymundo Reyes

“That is what we are trying to investigation because there was no sort of confrontation heard within the room. It is just that a scream was heard and as a result other persons living inside the building heard the screaming run out and that is when they saw the gentleman was bleeding inside the room.”


The responding officer along with Elvin Trujillo subdued the suspect, who has since been identified as Gilbert Antonio Chanek. Trujillo says that he spoke with Valdez minutes before the incident occurred.


Gilbert Antonio Chanek

Elvin Trujillo, Uncle of Suspect [Translated]

“About half an hour, I heard a noise. There is a dog here name Woody. And someone called his name three times and I heard the noise and wondered what was happening—if he was biting someone. When I opened the door, I saw Carlos on the bed; he was already injury and bleeding. I imagined that it was my nephew that did something again. I came out running and saw my niece’s husband, Campos who is a policeman, struggling with him at the door because he wanted to escape. I helped Campos to detain my nephew and we caught him here at the door.”


According to Trujillo, Chanek was once committed as a mental patient having stabbed his grandmother multiple times some years ago; she survived the ordeal.  But Trujillo says his nephew was recently released from the facility located in Corozal and was staying at the house in San Pedro, sleeping in the sofa.


Elvin Trujillo

Elvin Trujillo [Translated]

“He is sick. He was detained in a clinic in Corozal, but I don’t know the name of the clinic. It’s been about two months since he left and he came here. He would go around sleeping across the town after his mother abandoned him because she didn’t care about him. But my mother is his grandmother and took care of him and takes him as her own. She didn’t like how he was suffering because she knows that we didn’t care about him because he did the same thing to my mom, but couldn’t kill her. He couldn’t kill her, but my mom thought he needed another opportunity.”


But what could have motivated the murder is unknown.



“Would this be consistent with a crime not so much of opportunity as we would talk about a robbery? Clearly there was no force entry so might it have been a crime of passion?”


Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“I don’t think so. There is no indication or the investigation is leading to that or anything at all; none at all.”


Andrea Polanco

“Sir you didn’t receive any kind of report from the family that this guy has been suffering with mental illness for a while?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“No, there is nothing to substantiate that fact. That is what the family members are claiming, but they up to now have not shown any document to prove that he has been seen by a doctor or anybody qualified to say that yes this person is suffering from this kind of illness.”


On Sunday, Chanek was formally charged with murder in San Pedro.  In the hours after the murder, Trujillo requested that he be incarcerated for the crime because Valdez didn’t deserve to be killed like that.


Elvin Trujillo [Translated]

“I feel that he should be imprison; he need to pay for what he did cause this is the second time he has done this. He needs to pay beucase this can’t be left like this.”


Viviana Romero

Viviana Romero, Cousin of Accused [Translated]

“He was a beautiful person and he didn’t deserve to be killed like this. He didn’t have problems with anybody, but tragedy happens. If God made this happened, we have to accept it. But we sympathise with his family and want them to know that a great part of our heart was taken from us and all of the family is mourning.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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